Multi-scale 3D printing of nanomaterials using liquid crystals
Supervisory team: Dr. Ali Jalili, Dr. Dorna Esrafilzadeh and Prof. Rose Amal
The emergence of 3D printing promises a disruption in the design and on-demand fabrication of smart structures in applications ranging from functional devices to human organs. However, the scale at which 3D printing excels is within macro and micro-levels, primarily lacking the spatial ordering of building blocks at nano-level, which is the principle of high-performance multi-functional entities. This project investigates a fundamentally new concept as 'multi-scale 3D printing', bridging the gap between the nano and micro-scales in a single-step 3D printing. The printing ink will be formulated from binary mixtures of colloidal liquid crystals and nanomaterials. Then, the self-assembly power of liquid crystals will be exploited to impart the fine-tuning required for the design-freedom of architecturally complex systems at the nanoscale with intricate patterns within 3D printed constructs.
The host of this project, Particles and Catalysis Research Group (PARTCAT), is a leading (photo(electro)) catalysis research group within the School of Chemical Engineering at the University of New South Wales (UNSW). The student will have access to a state-of-the-art high-resolution 3D printer that can print a vast range of nanomaterials, polymers, hydrogels and catalysts.
This laboratory-based project has a cross-disciplinary nature that links chemistry, chemical engineering, and additive manufacturing technology. It is suitable for candidates with a background in chemical engineering, materials engineering, mechanical engineering, physics, or chemistry.
Level of difficulty: Average
For more information please contact Dr. Ali Jalili at email@example.com